What Story and Why
How to Tell
Life Story Resources
Research is Fun
How To Tell Your Life StoryThere are so many ways to preserve your life story.
Let's consider the various formats.
Writing Your Story
You can write your life story. Your choices include biography writing (or autobiography writing) and will vary from a basic handwritten notebook or journal to a professionally bound book. You can even preserve it in digital format and have an e-book (electronic book) that you keep on your computer. A growing popularity is a written life story posted on the worldwide web.
richness of the written word is hard to match. When we read we are
actively engaged, all our senses are at work creating the scene in our
minds. When your story is written in beautiful and expressive language
it can evoke moods and reveal personality that deeply touches the
you want to tell your story it is really helpful to keep a journal.
This is an outgoing and regular way to write down important events,
memories, experiences, observations and more. When you sit down to
compile your story you can pull from these entries. There are many
different journals and journaling
methods. I've kept one for years on my computer, and the
insight gained has been invaluable.
is a terrific product. This e-book guides you
through the process of preserving your personal history. You
the many questions and resources to do the same with others.
Tell Your Story - The Oral Tradition
Throughout history people preserved stories by oral tradition. Today's modern equivalent is an audio recording. This can be on tape or digital.
Digital recording saved to CD-ROM or computers, is a safer way to preserve your audio. Digital recordings won't fade with use or wear out like cassettes and other audiotapes. They can also be transferred from their master source without loss of quality.
If you decide to record your story to audio you'll want to prepare. It really helps to script out some questions. If you use an interview format find someone who is skilled at this process, or if not, at least someone who is good at asking questions and keeping you focused while listening attentively. Very often in a life story recording a person will recall stories and memories they had forgotten or not considered. A good interviewer knows how to aid this process. Some people are naturally adept at this. Others have gone through training.
I spent many years in radio broadcasting and over time it became natural to recognize when a question or thoughtful probing was leading to something good - a golden moment.
See the Association of Personal Historians to discover more about people trained in the process of interviewing people for their life story.
See Your Story
A video life story is both a treasure and meaningful. Seeing your story can be special. Again, the difference between you doing it and hiring a professional is mostly time and money.
If you are good at video recording, or a family member or friend offers to do it, this could be a cost effective way to go. However, a professional tends to be much better at recording, interviewing and editing. Plus, they will have the means to create many copies and provide a professional package. Either way, this is a growing family or personal history method.
below for links to providers and for the do-it-yourselfer.
Let's Get DigitalThe computer age has been here long enough now that many take a PC for granted. It’s surprising sometimes to recognize that thirty years ago this was an unusual or luxury item and it hasn't really been long since the Internet was a vast unknown.
Today there are desktop computers, laptops/notebooks, PDA’s (personal digital assistants), wireless and broadband online connections, mobile phones -- It’s a high-tech world and we might as well get used to it.
Put your story or family history online at a website, or have it written in an e-book form. You can also preserve it to a CD-ROM or DVD.
Digital Age is here — this is another exciting option. Go here
for more information.
Everybody has a story to tell!